Northampton Saints re-sign front row duo

Northampton Saints have announced that front rowers Andy Long and Regardt Dreyer have signed new contracts with the club.

Long, 32, arrived at Franklin’s Gardens in November 2009. The hooker, who has two England caps to his name, joined the Saints after a brief spell playing in Spain. Prior to that he had spent five years at Newcastle Falcons, where he had made over 100 appearances.

Long’s Saints debut came in the LV= Cup trip to Sale Sharks in January and he also came off the bench in the tournament final over Gloucester.

Having tasted success this early in his Saints career Long says that he wants to experience more of the same in the future.

“When I got here I wanted to get myself a longer contract, to settle in and impress,” he said.

“That’s happened and I’m over the moon to have been offered a longer contract. It’s been great to win a trophy already and the Saints is comfortably the best set-up I’ve been involved in. It’s a joy to go in training every day.

“We’re taking every game as it comes. There are big games every weekend and our frame of mind is to approach it that way. Everyone in the squad is challenging each other to improve their performances every week to achieve that.

“The supporters have also made Northampton a great club to play for. Home and away they are there every week and are a hundred percent behind you.”

Dreyer is midway through his second season at Franklin’s Gardens. The 27-year-old loosehead prop joined from Currie Cup outfit The Griquas in November 2008, and although he did not make his full Saints debut until September 2009 Dreyer already had a winner’s medal in his collection thanks to the Wanderers’ ‘A’ League success.

He says he has enjoyed his time at the club so far and is looking forward to developing his game further.

“The knowledge I have got from Nick Johnston and the fitness teams has changed me physically while working with Dorian West and playing with guys like Soane, Euan and Brian has improved me a lot,” he said.

“As an experience it has been great. Being part of the first team has been enjoyable, especially winning the LV= Cup a few weeks ago. I want to keep getting more game time, building on what I’ve already achieved and becoming a better player.”

Director of rugby Jim Mallinder says that both players will add depth and quality to the club’s squad as they prepare for another season in the Guinness Premiership and Heineken Cup.

“It is always important to have plenty of depth for the front row positions and I am very happy that Andy and Regardt have signed again with us,” he said.

“They both have considerable experience and have put in some good performances during their time at the club. Both Andy and Regardt are committed to improving themselves as players and helping the club stay at the top end of the Guinness Premiership.”

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